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Parents have a laundry list of responsibilities. However, the greatest of those is to set a good example for your children. There are only so many things you can teach by telling, but so many more you can teach by doing.
1. Eating Healthy
Image via Flickr by Martin Cathrae
Eating healthy is a lifestyle, and an important one at that. However, you can’t simply tell your child to eat their vegetables and lean chicken while you have fast food trash in your car. When your child sees you eating healthy and taking care of your body, that sends a positive message that reinforces good lifestyle choices. Healthy eating promotes a healthy brain.
2. Use Proper Language
It’s one thing to tell your child that certain words are bad, but quite another to show them. This seems like a no-brainer, but really pay attention to your chosen language. Grammar, vocabulary, and proper ways of speaking are best enforced by parents, and listening to their mother or father speaking in slang will impart this way of speaking onto impressionable children. In the same vein, calling something ‘stupid’, someone an ‘idiot’, or other such terms while telling them they can’t is to be avoided. It sets a judgemental precedent, showing your kids that it’s okay to say those words about other people.
3. Start a Career that Helps Others
Every parent has that moment of dread when they get an invitation to go to their child’s school and talk about their job. You might think the parent who’s a pilot will show you up, but having a job that helps people and makes the world a better place goes a long way with children. There are many jobs out there that you can search for in helping people, or making a difference. One of the best places for that is browsing Reputation.com jobs, where you can find jobs in a variety of different fields that will make you and others happy, as well as providing a great example for your child.
4. Read, and Read Often
Reading is the key to a great mind and great education, but many of us can’t find the time or the interest. However this is a critical aspect of raising a child in the information age. Read with your child, and teach them to appreciate creativity. Statistics show that children who read daily have a higher capacity for and love of learning.
5. Treat Others with Respect
While similar to #2 on the surface level, treating others with respect is an element of child-rearing that some parents neglect. Gossiping insulting, and belittling others teaches a child that it is acceptable behavior. Teach your children respect and understanding, and it will be repaid in kind.
There are many other factors in setting a good example for your child to follow, but following these are a step in the right direction. You are your kid’s greatest role model and teacher, and showing is always more effective than telling.
About the Author
Randy is a freelance writer based out of Brooklyn, New York. He spends most of his time trying to stay ahead of news world with interesting and informative articles, all the while entertaining the world at night with his music and art.